Sign In or Create an Account.

By continuing, you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge our Privacy Policy

Electric Vehicles

U.S. Battery Production Is Going Great, Actually

New analysis from the Environmental Defense Fund shows that domestic production is on track to meet demand.

The American flag and a battery.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Back in April, the Environmental Protection Agency announced new vehicle emissions standards that seem poised to transform how our roads look. They’re so strict, according to NPR, that up to 67% of new vehicles sold in 2032 would have to be electric to meet them.

Immediately, it looked like that would be a problem. The Inflation Reduction Act stipulates that, in order to be eligible for tax credits, electric vehicle components — including, crucially, the batteries — can’t be made by a country on the U.S.’s “foreign entities of concern” list. That rules out batteries made in China, which is, unfortunately, the world’s leader in battery manufacturing. As my colleague Emily Pontecorvo recently pointed out, that can lead to situations where nobody knows exactly which EVs qualify for tax credits to begin with. Without an increase in American battery manufacturing, we run the risk of Americans being either unwilling or unable to pay for the EVs that we’d need to hit those EPA standards.

But a new analysis from the Environmental Defense Fund, provided exclusively to Heatmap, shows that things might actually be quite bright on that front. Battery manufacturers around the country — many of them automakers themselves — have announced over 1,000 gigawatt hours of U.S. battery production that’s slated to come online by 2028, far outpacing projected demand.

Chart of U.S. EV battery demand and announced battery production capacity.Source: EDF

“A really large investment has been made in the U.S. for domestic battery manufacturing, and many of these [announcements] came before the EPA announced their standards,” Ellen Robo, the author of the report, told me. “This is a transition that is following market trends and is not necessarily being driven by EPA standards, so I think that shows that the EPA’s standards are feasible.”

These findings are in line with a recent report from RMI, which found that demand for EVs rose as battery technology improved, and that investments in battery factories outstrip investments in both solar and wind factories combined. Robo also points out that the announced production capacity line in the above chart will likely change; it usually takes about two years for a battery factory to go from announcement to production in the U.S., and Robo expects to see many more factories announced in the next few years, many of which could be churning out batteries by 2028. The caveat, of course, is that these are mostly just announcements; there could be delays or cancellations that change the timeline.

Still, this all bodes well for both automakers and customers. If automakers are able to source their critical minerals from places that aren’t foreign entities of concern — a requirement that kicks in for 2025 — the IRA tax credits will likely apply to their vehicles. Rather than us writing yet another story about the confusing state of EV tax credits a year from now, that means you could walk into a car dealership safe in the knowledge that you will get a hefty discount on the EV you’ve had your eye on.

But if you’re impatient, as Emily mentioned, you could always take advantage of the tax credit by leasing an EV in the meantime.

Neel Dhanesha profile image

Neel Dhanesha

Neel is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Prior to Heatmap, he was a science and climate reporter at Vox, an editorial fellow at Audubon magazine, and an assistant producer at Radiolab, where he helped produce The Other Latif, a series about one detainee's journey to Guantanamo Bay. He is a graduate of the Literary Reportage program at NYU, which helped him turn incoherent scribbles into readable stories, and he grew up (mostly) in Bangalore. He tweets sporadically at @neel_dhan.

Economy

What 2 Years of High Interest Rates Have Done to Clean Energy

The end may be in sight, but it’s not here yet.

Jerome Powell.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Are interest rates going to go down? The market will have to wait.

Following a Tuesday report showing steady consumer prices in May and prices overall only rising 3.3% in the past year, the Federal Reserve held steady on interest rates, releasing a projection Wednesday showing just one rate cut this year.

Keep reading...Show less
Blue
Politics

The Stephen Miller of Climate Policy

Russ Vought could jeopardize the next decade of climate science. But who is he?

Russ Vought and Donald Trump.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

It is my sincere belief that, as with many aspects of governance, thinking about climate policy bores former President Donald Trump. He is not without his hobbyhorses — wind turbines are ugly bird-killers; it’s freezing in New York, so where the hell is global warming? — but on the whole, I tend to agree with the assessment that he basically believes “nothing” on climate change. Trump simply isn’t all that interested. He prefers to let the others do the thinking for him.

This isn’t a knock on Trump, per se; part of leading a bureaucracy as big and as complicated as the United States government is surrounding yourself with people who can offload some of that thinking for you. But the crucial question then becomes: Who is doing that thinking?

Keep reading...Show less
Climate

AM Briefing: N20 Emissions Climb

On a very potent greenhouse gas, Florida’s flooding, and hydropower

We Need to Talk About Nitrous Oxide
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

Current conditions: Temperatures in northern China will top 107 degrees Fahrenheit today • Months-long water shortages have sparked riots in Algeria • Unseasonably cold and wet weather is being blamed for stunted economic growth in the U.K.

THE TOP FIVE

1. Torrential rains flood southern Florida

More than 7 million people are under flood advisories in Florida, with a tropical storm stalled over the state at least through Friday. Flooding was reported across the southern part of Florida including Fort Myers, Miami, and even farther north. In Sarasota, just south of Tampa, nearly four inches of rain fell in an hour, a new record for the area, with total rainfall reaching about 10 inches on Tuesday. The downpour was a one-in-1,000-year event. “The steadiest and heaviest rain will fall on South and central Florida through Thursday, but more spotty downpours and thunderstorms will continue to pester the region into Saturday,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Reneé Duff said.

Keep reading...Show less
Yellow